Marriott Rewards Program!  If you started at the beginning, hopefully you have gained a basic idea as to how a Hotel Program works.  Marriott’s is not that different than Hilton in its fundamentals.

Both have credit cards available, both give you points for staying and have similar websites that allow you to use points alone, pay or use points and miles.  They both have Elite Programs and have a global presence.  After that things start to get interesting…

My first thought about Hilton…Puppies and Butterflies.  Why yes, a walk through the garden sounds nice.

My first thought about Marriott…Briefcases and leather shoes.  A scotch at the bar? Yes, neat please.

When I interact with Marriott, I have my gameface on.  Their customer service is polite but firm.  No Elite Status Match For You!  We do Challenges.  A challenge is where you agree to stay X number of nights during a period of X time.  I absolutely Love Marriott Hotels and with the recent acquisition of Starwood Hotels (Westin, Sheraton etc…) and the third leg of their stool, Ritz-Carlton, Wow, they are a force in this business and they know it.

Their rewards program is still separated for now.  Which is fantastic and this is why, Marriott and Ritz points are valued at ~.009 (10,000 pts ~$90).  Starwood points are the most valued in the business at ~.027 (10,000pts~$270.00).  You can convert SPG (Starwood) to Marriott at…1-3 (10,000 SPG convert to 30,000 Marriott)  This borders on Magical!

To put this in perspective, a $100 room at Hilton should cost about 20k in hhonors points (20,000x.005), the same $100.00 room at a Marriott, about 10-15,000 points (10,000x.009). 

Earning points at Marriott sounds like a no-brainer right?  Remember the gameface?  Marriott is not nearly as generous as Hilton with promotions or points and if they disagree…well good luck.  You’ll most likely earn less at Marriott so it’s all kind of relative.  Unless…you are sitting on a load of SPG points, which you then convert, in that case its all Sherry and Giggles.

I just booked 4 nights in Beijing at a JW Marriott for 60,000 points.  Lets do the math.  60k points has an approximate value of ~$540.00 (60,000x.009 ~$540.00).  The cash price with tax is about $1051.00.  I am getting a value of .0175 using points~valued at .009) ($1051 / 60,000=.0175).  Definitely a time to pay with points.

I spend 80% of my Hotel stays at either a Hilton or a Marriott, with IHG (Holiday Inn) and Hyatt filling in the balance. 

Next Blog ,we’ll cover the available Marriott Credit Cards

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